The executive order and three memorandums included a payroll tax holiday, a federal unemployment extension, deferring student loan repayment, and renters and homeowners assistance. The payroll tax holiday was particularly criticized, with politicians saying Trump aims only to kill Medicare and Social Security.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the orders “unconstitutional slop” and an “illusion” on “Fox News Sunday” with Chris Wallace on Sunday, August 9, 2020, the day after the White House announced the orders. You can watch her comments in full here or below.
Here’s what you need to know:
Nancy Pelosi Calls Trump’s Coronavirus Actions ‘Unconstitutional Slop’ & an ‘Illusion’
Pelosi goes on Fox News Sunday and calls Trump's executive orders unconstitutional slop. pic.twitter.com/z4hQzTajPm
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) August 9, 2020
Nancy Pelosi, D-California spoke to Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday,” saying Trump’s actions aimed to boost the economy during the coronavirus are far too weak.
“No, in fact, what the president did is – I agreed what the Republican senator said – is unconstitutional slop,” Pelosi said, referring to a statement Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska made criticizing Trump’s executive actions.
She said Trump was unsure whether he could stall evictions and foreclosures, and slammed the payroll tax holiday as a move to cripple Medicare and Social Security.
“While it has the illusion of saying we’re going to have a moratorium on evictions, it says I’m gonna ask the folks in charge to study if that’s feasible. While he says he’s going to do the payroll tax, what he’s doing is undermining Social Security and Medicare, so these are illusions,” she said.
She further said the actions are too complicated, and that the complexity will lengthen the time until Americans see a benefit. Pelosi said the orders “don’t give the money in enhanced benefits, but puts a complicated formula there which will take a while, if at all, to accomplish to put money in the pockets of the American people.”
Pelosi later released a joint statement with Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, who also criticized Trump’s orders, asking Republicans to return to negotiations.
“Democrats repeat our call to Republicans to return to the table, meet us halfway and work together to deliver immediate relief to the American people,” she wrote on Twitter.
Democrats repeat our call to Republicans to return to the table, meet us halfway and work together to deliver immediate relief to the American people.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) August 8, 2020
The full statement said:
Today’s meager announcements by the President show President Trump still does not comprehend the seriousness or the urgency of the health and economic crises facing working families. We’re disappointed that instead of putting in the work to solve Americans’ problems, the President instead chose to stay on his luxury golf course to announce unworkable, weak and narrow policy announcements to slash the unemployment benefits that millions desperately need and endanger seniors’ Social Security and Medicare.
These policy announcements provide little real help to families. For instance, not only does the President’s announcement not actually extend the eviction moratorium, it provides no assistance to help pay the rent, which will only leave desperate families to watch their debt pile higher. Instead of passing a bill, now President Trump is cutting families’ unemployment benefits and pushing states further into budget crises, forcing them to make devastating cuts to life-or-death services.
Furthermore, these announcements do nothing to increase testing, nothing to reopen schools, nothing to put food on the table for hungry families, nothing to prevent heroes being laid off across state and local government, nothing to protect the Postal Service or the integrity of our elections, nothing on many critical needs of the American people.
Since the House passed The Heroes Act twelve weeks ago, more than 3.5 million Americans have become infected and 70,000 have tragically died. The coronavirus is moving through our country like a runaway freight train and the economy is quickly running out of steam. The only solution to crush the virus and protect working families is to pass a comprehensive bill that is equal to the historic health and economic catastrophe facing our country.
Democrats repeat our call to Republicans to return to the table, meet us halfway and work together to deliver immediate relief to the American people. Lives are being lost, and time is of the essence.